Friday, June 13, 2008

LotRO: Experiment Successful

Let's see how long we can keep this weekly meeting going though. I want Hudson and his brother to catch up to me in Conan because I personally find it far more interesting, but hey... at least I'm not paying for LotRO. And to boot, Turbine's game is one extremely polished beast these days. Whether or not I'll run out of quests in the later levels is also not a worry because I'm not solo.

So I imagine this experiment could take us all the way to Warhammer Online in the fall when we'll be meeting up there for a bit more PvP centric gameplay. If not, I'll just force them both to stick to Conan by holding a gun to their heads (JOKE... and a bad one even).

We started the night a little late because Hudson was stuck on a train with some rowdy and drunk baseball nuts, but by 8:30 PM or so we were in Middle-earth and tearing up the newbie zone... I know, I know we're extremely mighty. You don't have to tell us.

The game's looking rather fantastic in DX10, and I really forgot just how good the music and sound effects in LotRO were. The arrows whizzing by reminded me very much of the movies and that's a good thing. Hud's brother is our resident Legolas, and well... he was pretty much killing everything before we had a chance.

A couple things I like about LotRO despite the rather boring classes? The quest log has been given a major overhaul since I last played and it's now so organized that it's almost like a metagame unto itself. There's icons abound, it tells you exactly who has what quests and if you share them, it lets you know if it's a solo quest, a group quest, or a small group quest. Plus you can read all of your past adventures. It's really what I wish to see in all MMOGs in terms of quest tracking. Good stuff.

One thing's certain though, if I were solo-ing LotRO right now... I'd be bored. It's amazing how in Turbine's game simply grouping makes a huge difference. Now this is true of ALL games in the genre, but in WoW or Conan I don't feel bored when I solo even if it's for hours at a time. In LotRO, it's different. There's something about the pacing of the game that makes it rather dull when you're alone. But party up and you've got a good time on your hands. I guess that suits this little experiment well though so I'm not complaining.

I'll end this recap with a couple of screens in glorious DX10 from our travels last night. Oh, and one last note... LotRO's in-game voice chat sucks. Thank god for Ventrilo.

JoBildo the Dwarven Rock-God!

Shh... I hear buffalo.


Werit said...

Although i am not playing LoTRO at the moment, I am constantly tempted to re-activate my account due to the polish/quality of the game. I think the Mines of Moria will do wonders for it though.

Bildo said...

It was definitely fun. Just not sure how fun it would be alone.

I might try solo leveling one day to see if it's viable. With my father in law's lifetime account I don't mind playing because well... it's free.

And if it stays fun I wouldn't mind buying the expansion one day down the road.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the reason solo seems a lot less fun is due to how well all the classes play together. Even as a duo Capt/Mins the gf and I have great class synergy, and it only gets better the more people we add.

I still think Greater Barrows with a group of 6 at the appropriate level range is some of the best MMO gameplay out. Not due to any one particular feature, but just how amazingly it all fits together.

Odd you guys have issue with the voice chat, we use it all the time in PuG groups, and rarely have any issue at all. I also use it when I PvP in a raid as my creep, and again almost never an issue. I prefer it over Vent mainly because the in-game sound can make it tough to hear Vent sometimes, and turning down the sound in LoTRO is a crime.

Sarzan said...

Soloing as a Minstrel is definitely viable, more so with the changes they made to allow you to turn into a more 'offensive' mode or stance.

The problem, at least for me, is that I play MMOGs to play with other folks. I am forced to solo but if that were my main intent, I would rather play an offline game with deeper story arcs etc. I guess I get hooked into the social aspect combined with the game...

Thallian said...

nice screen shots bildo :) my first char to 50 was a dwarven minstrel.. different hairdo and stuff tho don't worry, you are not a clone.

Hudson said...

I am solo'ing my burglar I will see how it goes. His DPS is crap at level 6 but I am sure that changes with dual wield.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed LOTRO for a time. Sometimes I kinda wish I'd got a lifetime sub, but I didn't and I doubt I'll get one now. The problem is, if I pay £9 for a game, I want to play it a lot. And once you've gotten to 50, if you don't like the Ettens (which I don't) then there's not enough to fill the hours. And, being value-concious, I can't pay for a game I play so little. Maybe I should have taken the plunge at release and bought the lifetime sub. Now, if Turbine did an offer where I could buy a lifetime sub for the £150 minus whatever you've spent on subscriptions on it, I'd do it. MoM will be fun, I expect I'll return for that at least.

Khan said...

Hudson: I've played a burg to 50. While not really a dps class, your dps improves with dual wield. Your survivability as a burg will be quite high. It's interesting but the only class I've enjoyed soloing exclusively is my burg. The option to ignore mobs and head straight to a quest objective is great. I can sneak just about anywhere I feel like going. At 30, I think it is, you'll get Hide in Plain Sight (aka: HiPS). You can vanish even when in combat, thus increasing your survivability even more.

Added bonus: I get to be a hobbit. :)

For the other commentors, I agree: grouping is more fun, generally, than going it solo. I had a regular group of friends I used to play with and we had a blast tearing stuff up in Middle-earth.